Your Business Can Learn About IT Security From The FA

by Robert Best on November 8, 2017
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The English Football Association is to warn England players about cyber security during the World Cup. Players and staff will be advised not to use public or hotel Wi-Fi during the 2018 World Cup in Russia over fears of hacking.

FA officials are concerned about IT security whilst in Russia and have been working to increase cyber attack counter measures. Improvements have already seen the FA strengthen online firewalls and implement encrypted passwords for websites and mobile devices.

Small Business IT security

The high profile of the FA and football players mean they can appear an attractive target for hackers. That doesn't mean a small business is any less attractive. 

Small businesses often operate without dedicated IT professionals. They rarely see themselves as a viable target for hackers. That attitude and the lack of resources to defend themselves from a cyber attack, is what may make them a tempting target.

There are ways to protect your business against ransomware attacks. Learn how the malware is spread, the different types of ransomware proliferating today, and what you can do to avoid or recover from an attack.

What can a small business do to improve their IT security? Here are 9 tips that will help protect your company from an unwanted attack.

Have a response plan

If you don't have the help of an IT specialist, it's up to small business leaders to decide on the actions taken in the event of an attack. This will include educating and preparing staff. 

Create a cyber security plan that defines roles and responsibilities. The plan needs to include how data can be recovered as quickly as possible after an attack. By taking a proactive approach, a small business will be able to make better decisions under the stress of an attack.

Educate your staff

The biggest win a small business can have with IT security is educating their staff. At a round table debate on IT security in London last year, the biggest take away was that employees can be a company's biggest cyber security risk.

You will need to continue to train your staff on what applications are safe to use, what emails they shouldn’t open and how to create strong passwords. Accidents do happen and whilst it might not be on purpose, clicking on an infected link in an email for example, the consequences are just as serious.

Know the risks

To be able to protect your company, you will need to understand the areas of vulnerability in your business. Keep up to date with the different ways in which a hacker can hack into your system. This will help you identify points of weakness. 

Staying up to date with the latest variations of cyber attacks will help you understand how they can attack your business. For example, to be able to defend yourself against ransomware you must understand how ransomware works and the ways it can infect your network.

Encrypt data

data encryption

If a business has data than it can be a target for hackers. Be sure to take measures to have your information encrypted. Full-disk encryption tools are becoming standard across most operating systems. This allows you to encrypt every file on your drive.

Encryption does require a change in normal behaviours so its important to once again educate your staff on the new behaviours they need to follow.

Password management

An easy way for a business to be hacked is using the same password between accounts and devices. By using the same password across customer databases, email accounts or other business data, one password security breach can end up causing serve damage.  

There are many password managers like 1Password, LastPass and Google use their own password manager on their devices and web browser. Encrypt tools like fingerprint recognition can further secure business data. 

Be aware of information posted online

A great resource for hackers is the information we post online about ourselves. The hackers behind the celebrity iCloud hack used information posted online to answer security questions. 

Be mindful what information you have posted on social media sites. Answering a secret question of "your first school" could give a hacker easy access if that information is easy to find online.

Update your software

The WanaCry attack earlier this year was a prime example of what can happen if a business ignores updates to their software. These updates are often created after a vulnerability has been discovered. Ignoring these updates can leave a business as an easy target for cyber attack.

The best IT security firms will handle all updates and patches so they are installed when they become available, keeping your applications up to date. For more information on IT security give us a call.

Mobile devices

With the increase in the bring your own device (BYOD) trend cybersecurity is now going beyond laptops and computers. Now a lost mobile phone could become a dangerous data breach for a business. 

Follow the advice the FA are giving out to their staff and don't connect to unknown Wi-Fi's. 

Being a small business doesn't make you secure

When England go to the 2018 they have bigger worries than the usual penalty shoot-out loss. Follow the example set by the FA and start taking IT security seriously before a cyber attack strikes. 

Just saying you're a small business and a hacker won't be interested is no longer a viable defence. By following these tips, you can start to protect your business from a cyber attack.

business guide to ransomware

Topics: IT Security

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